I love to cook (um… obviously). For me, cooking is a relaxing, creative outlet, and one of my favorite ways to end a busy work day. While following an anti-inflammatory diet keeps me energetic and pain-free most of the time, I do still experience the occasional “bad day,” when my Sjogren’s Syndrome (a form of autoimmune arthritis) flares up, putting me down on the couch when I would rather be in the kitchen. And let’s face it, even if you’re not managing a chronic illness, you still have days that are busy and tiring; at those times, the temptation to indulge in unhealthy “convenience” foods can be overwhelming. This ridiculously easy, nutritious bean dip is one of my favorite weapons in my quest to continue to make healthy food choices even when an autoimmune flare-up saps my will to cook. It comes together literally in minutes, and tastes great with raw veggies and baked whole-grain chips, or spread on wraps or bagels. It’s also an easy-to-make and easy-to-pack lunch to take to work or school.
You can make this dip with any beans you like — white, red, or black — but my favorite way to make it is with dark red beans, which are high in anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, and result in a pretty pink dip. I use homemade ranch seasoning that I assemble from the bulk spice aisle at our local food co-op, but any ranch seasoning will do if you’re happy with its ingredients.
Chipotle-Ranch Bean Dip
about 1 1/2 cups beans (cooked) or 1 can beans (drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 tsp ranch seasoning
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 Tbsp olive oil
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree for 1 to 2 minutes, or until dip reaches desired consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.